The Collaborative International Dictionary
Natural product \Nat"u*ral prod"uct\, n. (Chem., Biochem.) A chemical substance produced by a living organism; -- a term used commonly in reference to chemical substances found in nature that have distinctive pharmacological effects. Such a substance is considered a natural product even if it can be prepared by total synthesis.
n. (context biochemistry English) Any compound produced naturally by a living organism; especially those compounds that are useful commercially
A natural product is a chemical compound or substance produced by a living organism—that is, found in nature. In the broadest sense, natural products include any substance produced by life. Natural products can also be prepared by chemical synthesis (both semisynthesis and total synthesis) and have played a central role in the development of the field of organic chemistry by providing challenging synthetic targets. The term natural product has also been extended for commercial purposes to refer to cosmetics, dietary supplements, and foods produced from natural sources without added artificial ingredients.
Within the field of organic chemistry, the definition of natural products is usually restricted to mean purified organic compounds isolated from natural sources that are produced by the pathways of primary or secondary metabolism. Within the field of medicinal chemistry, the definition is often further restricted to secondary metabolites. Secondary metabolites are not essential for survival, but nevertheless provide organisms that produce them an evolutionary advantage. Many secondary metabolites are cytotoxic and have been selected and optimized through evolution for use as "chemical warfare" agents against prey, predators, and competing organisms.
Natural products sometimes have pharmacological or biological activity that can be of therapeutic benefit in treating diseases. As such, natural products are the active components not only of most traditional medicines but also many modern medicines. Furthermore, because the structural diversity of natural products exceeds that readily achievable by chemical synthesis, and synthetic analogs can be prepared with improved potency and safety, natural products are often used as starting points for drug discovery. In fact, natural products are the inspiration for approximately one half of U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs.
Usage examples of "natural product".
Tests showed the spores were harmless and had no side effects, being a natural product, whereas many deodorants contained metals that were potentially dangerous when absorbed by the human body.
Long before the Soviet Union collapsed, recruitment and intelligence fraudthe natural product of an insular spy worldhad stripped the DO of its integrity and its competence.
Every chieftain is a monarch, and politeness, the natural product of royal government, is diffused from the laird through the whole clan.
He saw the lab and smelled the wax -- a compound of artificial esters and the natural product of bees kept by failed Sisters and their helpers.
It was a natural product of Lilith, it contained Warden organisms in its own molecules, and it was the natural complement to what I'd been told about how this all worked.
A natural product of some pretty amazing stratospheric processing that I plan looking into.